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Sumo association reveals two fresh cases of physical abuse among wrestlers

Kyodo

Two fresh cases of physical abuse in the sumo world were revealed by the Japan Sumo Association on Sunday.

The association, troubled by a variety of scandals starting with an assault by a grand champion on a lower-ranked wrestler last autumn, said that juryo division wrestler Takayoshitoshi assaulted a lower-ranked wrestler during the current Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In another case announced by the JSA, the father of a retired wrestler has contacted his son’s former stablemaster over alleged physical abuse at the hands of another wrestler starting last September.

Takayoshitoshi, a 20-year-old who is fighting in his first grand tournament in sumo’s second tier, repeatedly struck a junior wrestler who was serving as an attendant in the East wrestlers dressing room at Edion Arena Osaka, according to sumo elder Kasugano, the JSA’s communications director.

Elder Kagamiyama, the head of the JSA’s crisis management panel, spoke with Takayoshitoshi after his bout Sunday, the eighth day of the 15-day tournament. The wrestler, who belongs to the stable of former yokozuna Takanohana, admitted to hitting the attendant, a fifth-tier jonidan division wrestler two or three times.

The JSA is expected to hold a hearing on Monday, and said it had contacted stablemaster Takanohana.

Takanohana has been at odds with the JSA since last year, when one of his wrestlers, Takanoiwa, suffered head injuries at the hands of former yokozuna Harumafuji during a regional tour. Takanohana was in charge of regional tours, in his capacity as a member of the JSA’s board of directors. He lost that post as punishment, ostensibly for failing to report the assault promptly to the JSA.

In the other case, the JSA reported that the former wrestler’s father has said his son was beaten four times from last September to this January.